The Cannon’s Top 25 Under 25 Countdown rolls on, ranking young Columbus Blue Jackets by more than 120 reader votes. Throughout the month of August, we’ll reveal a new player each weekday based on your ranking. Today marks No. 7, Boone Jenner.
#7 Boone Jenner
7th out of 55 eligible players (1988 points)
Highest placement: #1 (1 ballot)
Most common placement: #8 (17 ballots)
Birthdate: June 15, 1993
Birthplace: Dorchester, Ontario, Canada
Weight: 206 lbs
Acquired: Drafted by Columbus in Round 2 of the 2011 draft (#37 overall)
Boone Jenner didn’t have the best season, missing training camp and the first seven games while recovering from a back injury. The big center took awhile to play himself back into form but delivered a strong spring en route to a 13-19-32 season. A 13-game stretch with only one point gave way to a March where Jenner scored six goals and six assists to help lock up a playoff spot for the CBJ. Jenner’s possession numbers dipped from 2016-17, but in the team’s first round series against Washington, No. 38 tallied a goal and two assists while playing an above-average 19:45 and winning 53.1 percent of his faceoffs.
The club rewarded Jenner with a four-year, $15 million ($3.75 million AAV) deal in July that will expire a few weeks after his 29th birthday. Jenner led all Blue Jackets forwards in blocked shots and became one of the team’s best options on face-offs.
Back injuries are scary, but Jenner didn’t show too many lingering effects with his play in the second half of last season. Plus, teams don’t generally hand out four-year contracts to unhealthy players, and last season marked the first since 2014-15 where he hadn’t played a full campaign. Jenner created some dynamic chemistry with Alexander Wennberg and Thomas Vanek after the deadline, but the loss of Vanek will force John Tortorella to find a new line for the big Canadian. Torts also trusts him on the defensive end (58.4 dZS%), even if that’s not really his game:
Boone Jenner (4x3.75, CBJ) is a classic sort of all-offence-no-defence forward. Slightly defensive usage is curious for such a player. pic.twitter.com/gPoltoxorQ— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 5, 2018
Jenner’s 25 years old, an alternate captain and coming off an up-and-down year with a new contract in hand. Torts and teammates have nothing but good things to say about him, lauding his work ethic and physical play. That play style may cause concerns as the league gets faster and the player gets older, however, especially as his goal total gets farther away from that 30-goal season as a 22-year-old. Still, Jenner is undoubtedly a leader—a young one at that—for this franchise and a healthy summer and camp could give the Blue Jackets a big boost down the middle for 2018-19.